dutch twitter is the best twitter man repeller
Low Stakes Hot Take: Dutch Twitter Is the Best Twitter
07.25.19

Welcome to Low Stakes Hot Take, a regular column wherein one of us shares an impassioned opinion on a seemingly random topic that probably doesn’t matter much. Or—wait—does it?


I’ve spent a decent portion of my free time, as of late, wondering what makes something funny, funny. This aimless and recreational enterprise has taken shape in various ways: reading the 800-page history of “Saturday Night Live” for fun, studying recent Netflix specials like Aziz Ansari’s new and controversial “Right Now,” alongside older sketch series like The Characters, quoting lines from Tim Robinson’s I Think You Should Leave back and forth with my friend Rachel, wondering who pulled the fuse on the bygone pastime of quoting movies to each other, and joining the rowdy 10pm Sunday crowd at LA’s Comedy Store.

So, imagine my surprise when I found that the Dutch, as a people, understand the most intimate secrets that I do not when it comes to deploying modern humor.

After a long Tuesday spent deteriorating my already myopic eyes one browser tab at a time, wondering if something called Shark Sauce was going to make me better-looking, and generally working myself up into a nervous wreck at the foot of my laptop, I went to a new gym in the new city where I live, and took comfort in an old routine: skimming and deleting a bunch of text-heavy e-mails while jogging in place on one of those Arc Trainer machines. It was under these circumstances that I discovered that the Dutch, in addition to “dropping” their young in the woods to fend for themselves, are very good at Twitter.

One thing you must know before we dig in: After close self-examination, it seems that my own sense of humor favors any reference that is berry-adjacent, as evidenced by the following Tweet I often return to, dating back to the medieval days of the Tr*mp administration:

Were we ever so young?

The latitude and longitude of a comedic Dutch masterpiece meet at this Tweet, where the New York Times World account shared a story on how “the Dutch do childhood differently.”

It all starts off unassumingly enough:

And then, a testimonial:

It is here that the Dutch tweeters gain momentum via strength in numbers, and demonstrate their keen proclivity for riffing off of each other, a skill no doubt learned while embedded in a mosquito-laden wood where they once spooned tree sap for survival. Not a “yes, and,” in sight, and yet…

I reached out to my esteemed colleague and noted Man Repeller humorist, Nora Taylor, for comment: “I feel like this is like if people assumed American education was based on like Waldorf Schools. The one tweet that really got me was about giving the weak kids to Belgium.”

Consider my plane tickets to the Netherlands, where I hope to study under a Dutch comedy troupe, booked. Please comment below with recommendations related to foraging the most supple berries the country has to offer.

Collage by Edith Young. 

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